The electric grid operator for New England recently announced the results of its auction to meet peak demand in 2022 and 2023 and while prices were the lowest seen in six years, rooftop solar and energy storage also came in as a winner. That’s thanks to a new contract with Sunrun that allows it to provide 20 megawatts of wholesale power from its rooftop solar systems with energy storage, it’s a first for distributed solar.
In all, ISO New England, which serves Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island, awarded roughly 145 megawatts of renewable energy. “This year’s auctions procured the resources needed for a reliable power system at a competitive price, while implementing new procedures to accommodate state-sponsored renewable resources,” said Robert Ethier, vice president of market operations at ISO New England. “It’s our responsibility to run these auctions and our wholesale markets under the rules approved by FERC, and we fulfilled that responsibility again this year.”
Sunrun said it won its bid to provide energy from roughly 5,000 of its Brightbox home solar and battery systems to the grid starting in 2022. It also stated it’s the first time that rooftop solar coupled with battery storage will participate with centralized power plants in a wholesale capacity market.
“This is a breakthrough moment,” said Lynn Jurich, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Sunrun. “Sunrun is able to deliver clean and reliable electricity to customers at a lower cost than traditional central generation and provide this resource to the wholesale capacity market. This new energy services model is a win-win for everyone. We’re creating a new, cleaner, more affordable and resilient electricity system—powered by local home solar and batteries—for the benefit of all New Englanders. Clean, home solar energy improves the health of our communities and planet, is an efficient use of existing infrastructure, and home batteries provide households with the peace of mind of backup power during outages.”
By bundling the energy from the solar homes and energy storage systems together, the systems can act more like a centralized generator, delivering power to the grid when needed as well as powering the homes themselves. As such it’s helping reduce the need of power from polluting sources like coal-fired power plants.
“Winning a bid in a forward capacity market validates the ability of home solar and battery storage to bring the benefits of clean, renewable energy to New England residents and throughout the country. Sunrun can deploy and manage solar and battery systems that meet the operational requirements of the ISO market, while also delivering energy savings and backup power to families,” said Audrey Lee, Head of Energy Services at Sunrun.Tweet